A lack of motivation and energy can quickly become a crippling and vicious cycle.
Even when the source of our low drive isn’t our fault, we start to see ourselves as “lazy” and “unmotivated.”
This perceived lack of motivation turns to guilt. This guilt exhausts us even further and creates a flywheel of failure where our lack of motivation actually causes us to lack motivation.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to stay this way.
Whether you’ve been feeling down and unmotivated for a few weeks, a few months, or even years, there are solutions to help you unlock your natural energy and drive to get more out of yourself and build an exciting and joy-filled life.
In this article, I’m going to reveal the common problems that cause men to lack motivation and energy in men as well as practical solutions–from in-the-trenches experience–you can implement today to fix this problem once and for all.
Let’s dive in.
The Seven Common Causes of Low Motivation and Energy In Men
One of the most common–and damaging–misconceptions about motivation and energy is that they are predetermined.
You’re either a motivated person, or you aren’t. But nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s undeniable that certain genetic and neurological factors can influence a man’s level of drive and motivation.
But that’s maybe 20% of the equation. Barring extreme cases of mental illness or hereditary conditions, motivation and energy are character traits.
Just like discipline, focus, fitness, and even happiness, they can be trained and improved with time.
But to effectively train the traits of motivation and energy, we first need to remove the “silent killers” of motivation and energy.
You can watch all of the Tony Robbins videos, write down all of your huge and ambitious goals, and do everything you can to make yourself a mo But until you eliminate the things causing you to lose motivation, it’ll never be enough.
It’s like trying to avoid cavities by brushing your teeth twice a day… but then drinking a six-pack of Dr. Pepper.
Or trying to lose weight by drinking a green smoothie… while ignoring the super-sized fast-food burger.
Or fixing a relationship by going out for a weekly date night… without addressing the fact that your partner is cheating on you.
Until you remove what’s keeping your motivation and energy low, nothing that you add will make a difference.
With this framework in mind, let’s dive into the common causes of lack of motivation and energy in men (and how to fix them).
1. You’re Waging War Against Your Biology
Nearly 20% of young men (18-35) have low testosterone levels. After age 45, that number more than doubles.
More than 35% of Americans are chronically sleep-deprived.
More than 34% of American men are overweight or obese and nearly 56% of men are deficient in vitamin d, a key hormone that helps regulate sleep, testosterone, libido, and energy.
So many statistics and peer-reviewed studies point to one uncomfortable truth: Most men are literally waging war against their biology?
It doesn’t matter how much a project excites you or how desperately you want to pursue a hobby or relationship.
You can feel totally motivated. But if you lack the raw physical materials necessary to produce energy and motivation, nothing else will help you successfully accomplish your goals until you solve the problem from the inside out.
I experienced this first hand a few years ago when I suffered from a severe bout of mold and heavy metal poisoning.
Despite having a business that I loved, a thriving social circle filled with like-minded men, a rock-solid mindset, and an abundant dating life–I experienced an acute lack of motivation for months.
Most days, I could barely stay motivated enough to get outside, let alone work 10+ hour days building my business (or even 2 hour days!) I barely had the energy to function.
It wasn’t until I was able to solve the root biological cause of my low energy that I got back to my normal self.
Lack of motivation and energy doesn’t always have a biological cause. But if nothing else on this list resonates, it’s worth looking under the hood to see if there’s a physical explanation for what you’re experiencing.
2. You’re Overwhelmed and Burned Out
We live in a society that encourages men to “Hustle till their face falls off.” And that’s exactly what most men do.
Our sense of self-worth and identity is so tied up in our careers that we try to do a million things at once.
Pushing ourselves on the verge of collapse, resting just enough to avoid a serious physical or mental health breakdown, and then continuing this cycle until our bodies force us to stop.
Sometimes, in our quest to be the “superman” who can do it all, we forget that we’re only human.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed as you continue marching forward, I want to gently remind you that play, rest, and relaxation aren’t “nice to do.” They aren’t something that we can simply cram into the margins of our lives.
They’re essential parts of being a high-performing, self-motivated man.
Motivation fades when we don’t regularly take the time to completely unplug from work, connect with our tribe, and simply BE.
So if you’ve been feeling so much pressure to “hustle” and “grind” can’t remember the last time you took a vacation or long weekend?
Consider that the lack of motivation you’re experiencing could simply be your body’s way of telling you that it’s time to take your foot off the pedal and invest in your self-care as much as your career.
3. You’re Underwhelmed and Trapped in the “Same Damn Thing
In the game of life, boredom is just as deadly as burnout.
When a man’s life becomes too easy, when he isn’t facing any new challenges, embarking on new journeys, or challenging himself to reach new heights– self-motivation fades.
Because there’s nothing to be motivated for! In fact, many studies show that incidences of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems are higher in more affluent areas than they are in areas defined by struggle.
In my own experience, the men who achieve wild success without finding a new mountain to climb, often become the least motivated men I know.
When a man has something to fight for, he’s motivated.
When the stakes are high and there are serious consequences for his actions, motivation is inevitable.
You can take the most unmotivated and low energy guy, drop him into a life-or-death situation and watch him transform before your eyes. Because his only option is to be motivated or die.
But in the modern world, few of us ever find ourselves in these types of situations. We experience a lack of motivation not because we’re doing too much, but because we demand too little of ourselves.
If we don’t have a purpose beyond ourselves to wake up and fight for? The fire in our belly begins to die and we can find ourselves listlessly wandering through life–merely existing rather than living.
4. You’re Settling In Your Relationship (And You Know It)
One of the most insidious and often ignored factors that drain motivation and energy in men is their romantic relationship.
Instead of feeling motivated, inspired, and excited by their significant others, they become a source of stress, anxiety, and spiritual discontent.
While this might be obvious in abusive or unfaithful relationships, this principle is just as applicable to “good” relationships.
There might not be anything wrong with the relationship from the outside looking in. His partner may love him deeply and support him in his goals.
But when a man knows that he’s settling, that he isn’t with the right partner, that his core values and needs aren’t being met by the woman he’s with–it will slowly start to cause a lack of motivation in every area of life.
He’ll feel distracted and unfocused at work and then, instead of facing the facts of his romantic life, will retreat into drugs, porn, alcohol, and other vices to numb out the pain he doesn’t want to face.
When this pattern goes on long enough, he’s faced with one of two options:
- To leave the relationship (even if it will hurt)
- To sacrifice himself to the relationship
The pain of the first option last moments. The pain of the second lasts a lifetime.
Here at Knowledge for Men, we specialize in helping men create high-quality romantic lives and navigate the challenges of their relationships.
If you’ve been wondering if you should break up with your partner, struggling to show up as the man your partner needs, or feeling like the spark from your relationship has gone out, I invite you to check out this FREE training I put together to help men reclaim their power, improve their relationships, and become their strongest selves.
5. You’re Surrounded by Other Unmotivated and Low Energy Men
“You’re the average of the five people you spend your time with most” ~Jim Rohn
Humans are intensely social creatures. We take on the patterns, beliefs, and habits of the people we surround ourselves with (and this has been proven scientifically through the discovery of mirror neurons).
If you’re spending time with low energy, unmotivated, and unambitious men, you will eventually begin to adopt their same ways of being.
Just like your romantic relationship, it isn’t easy to acknowledge when you’ve outgrown a lifelong friend or when someone you care about deeply has become a toxic influence on your life.
But if you want to rekindle the fire in your soul and reach the next level of fulfillment, self-motivation, and energy in your life… You must protect your energy at all costs.
So ask yourself: “When I spend time with the people in my social circle, do I feel energized? Or drained? Do they motivate and inspire me? Or keep me complacent and make me feel a lack of motivation?”
Other than your choice of a romantic partner, nothing will have a greater impact on your life than the people with whom you choose to share it.
If they aren’t pushing you forward, they’re holding you back.
6. You Aren’t Growing
One of the most pernicious causes of low motivation in men is a lack of growth.
When a man stops growing, he begins a slow spiritual death.
Growth is not only an essential part of life, but it seems to be one of the core purposes of life.
It doesn’t matter how bad your life is right now or how many challenges you’re facing today, if you’re growing and improving every day, you’ll feel motivated.
If you aren’t growing and if your life is more or less the same as it’s always been, you’ll find that a lack of motivation becomes inevitable.
You aren’t here to merely exist and stay the same.
Same job. Same salary. Same problems in your relationship. Same empty promises to yourself that you’ll make a change “someday.”
You’re here to experience new journeys, new challenges, and new “battles” in the game of life.
It’s just like video games. The most addictive and enjoyable games are all centered around progress. You level up your character, get better weapons, fight bigger bosses, and explore new areas.
You don’t replay the same level of a video game every time you sit down to play (if you did, you probably wouldn’t play that game for very long).
So why are you replaying the same level in the only game that really matters? Your life! Look back at the past few years of your life.
How much have you grown? How many challenges have you overcome? What new “levels” have you reached? How many exciting and desirable goals have you achieved?
If you can’t think of an answer to these questions, it’s a surefire sign that your lack of motivation is directly tied to your lack of growth.
7. You’re Seeking Motivation Over Seeking Habits
Finally, and perhaps the most crucial element of motivation most men miss is that motivation is not a feeling. It’s a habit.
Yes, there are times where you will feel more motivated than others.
Yes, there are factors–like the ones we’ve discussed so far–that contribute to how frequently and intensely you will experience these feelings. But at the end of the day, motivation is a fickle friend.
It’s there for a good time, not a long time.
The secret to achieving sustained success in any area of your life is not to seek motivation and instead develop habits that eliminate the need for motivation altogether.
Allowing you to do the things you need to do even when you don’t feel like it and creating an unstoppable identity as a man who does what’s required, no matter what. Over time, motivation will become a non-issue.
It won’t matter how you feel, how poorly you slept, or what your wife said before you left for work… Instead, you’ll simply become the type of man who does what needs to be done.
The Three Immutable Habits of Highly Motivated Men
1. They Create Energy in their Own Life
The most high-energy and motivated men you ever meet will all have one thing in common.
They have a set of core “anchors” inside of their daily and weekly routines to generate physical energy and they protect them at all costs.
Although there are several keystone habits that can eliminate a lack of motivation, they may look different for every man.
For example, some men prefer a carnivore diet while others prefer vegan, and some lift weights while others run.
However, regardless of the specific habits you follow, there are a few fundamental principles that allow a man to experience high levels of motivation.
- They prioritize rest and recovery and get at least 7 hours of high quality sleep every night
- They train hard at least three days a week (and engage in light movement every other day)
- They eat clean whole foods most of the time
- They have a conscious relationship with the substances they consume–alcohol, caffeine, marijuana, etc–and use them at the right times in the right doses
- They regularly get blood work done to proactively identify potential deficiencies or illnesses that may sabotage their energy and performance
- They spend time in nature–alone and with friends–to recharge and escape from the boxes most of us live in.
If you’re struggling with a lack of motivation and energy, I encourage you to look at the above examples.
Are there any areas that you’re ignoring (the most common culprits are sleep, nutrition, and recovery)?
Are there any areas where you’re investing too much energy at the detriment of other important life areas? (I know plenty of men who spend so much time in the gym or counting their macros that they don’t have energy for their career or social life).
Be honest with yourself about the ways you’re generating–or failing to generate–energy in your body and then identify small habits you can implement today to improve them.
2. They’re Highly Selective in their Relationships
Highly motivated and energetic men understand that there is no such thing as a “neutral” relationship.
Whether it’s a friendship or a romantic partnership, every relationship is either giving you energy or taking it away.
Although this dynamic will fluctuate over time–for example, if a close friend is going through a breakup, they may temporarily take more energy than they give–most men intuitively know when someone in their life is a source of inspiration or an emotional vampire.
And to protect yourself, your goals, and your vision, you must be honest about this dynamic and distance yourself from people who take more than they give.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to cut them out of your life entirely (sometimes, you have friends who are simply a few steps behind you on the growth curve).
But it does mean that you need to be aware of how your social and romantic circle influences you and be willing to cut ties with friends and lovers who cause a lack of motivation.
The more you can cultivate relationships with men and women who inspire you, excite you, and push you toward growth and adventure, the better your life will be.
And if you want a practical way to implement this habit today, I encourage you to start by making a life of everyone you regularly associate with in your life.
Next to their name put either a “+” or “-”. Then, for the next 10 to 30-days, strive to only spend time with people who fill you up.
Notice how your levels of energy change over this time period (and how they change when you start to spend time with people you called out as draining your energy) and then use your observations to navigate your relationships moving forward.
3. They’re Accountable to Someone They Deeply Don’t Want to Disappoint
Few habits will have a more profound impact on your life and success than being held accountable by someone you respect, admire, and deeply don’t want to disappoint.
For most men, a promise made only to themselves isn’t really a promise. It’s a “nice to do” or a “good idea.”
Just think about how many times you’ve told yourself that you were going to start a new training program, talk to that beautiful woman, or start a business so you could quit your job.
How many times did you follow through? Now think about the times when you made a commitment to someone you admire?
Maybe you told a friend you were going to meet them at the gym or told your boss that you would complete a project by a challenging deadline.
What happened when your reputation was on the line?
Chances are, you followed through and did what you said you were going to do.
Accountability is the force multiplier of motivation and energy. It forces you to take action, focus, and make progress even when you don’t feel like it.
When taken on inside the context of a coaching relationship, accountability also forces you to look at the parts of your life that aren’t working.
Instead of suppressing, ignoring, and hiding from the things in your life that are painful to admit, you’re forced to deal with them head-on.
By having someone in your corner who not only stands for your greatness but demands that you achieve it, you can tap into a sixth gear you didn’t even know you had.
Accountability succeeds where motivation fails. It’s constant, unwavering, and agnostic to how you feel in the moment.
It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, unfocused, or “not feeling it.” When you’re held accountable by someone you admire, you get the job done, no matter what.
While there are no shortcuts for beating a lack of motivation and building the habits needed to sustain peak energy and performance, there are solutions.
By implementing the lessons I shared here today, you’ll be taking your first step to unlocking the drive and ambition that’s missing from your life today.
But it’s only the first step.
For those of you who want to speed up your journey and unlock the next level of growth, energy, and motivation faster, I’d like to invite you to apply for our premier coaching program, Project Grounded Man.
Not only will you get plugged into a brotherhood of other high performing, high energy men, but you’ll work closely with a men’s coach to identify the specific actions you need to take–and have the accountability you need to follow through on them every time.